Archive for April, 2020

Spicy Spinach Dal

This recipe is easy to halve or double. Makes 4 very generous serves or 6 side serves

You can omit the fresh chillies and dried chilli powder to make a non spicy version

You can keep the chillies whole and omit the dried chilli powder for a mild gersion

You can also leave out the spinach and it still tastes great

This recipe has 3 parts.

Part 1 – dal

1 1/2 cups yellow split peas

5 cups of vegetable stock (I used Masel chicken style stock – low salt – is actually vegetarian

One 3cm peeled chunk of ginger cut into 3 thick slices

1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric


Place all these ingredients into a large pot. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Put the lid on. Simmer for around 30 minutes

Part 2 – vagar

While the dal is simmering. Begin the vagar in a medium pot.

2 tablespoons coconut oil

4 birds eye chillies (cut down the middle, leaving the end in tact for spicy, leave whole for mild, omit for non-spicy)

2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne/hot chilli powder (optional)

Finely chopped stalks from the coriander you will use in step 3 (optional)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 tablespoons tomato paste

800g tin of diced tomatoes

Pinch of salt


On a high heat – melt the coconut oil. Add the whole chillies. They will start to blacken.

At this point, add the mustard seeds and put the lid straight on. They should start popping for around 30 seconds.

Remove from the heat, stir through remaining spices to toast in the oil.

Stir through the garlic and ginger ( and optional coriander stalks) and salt.

Return to a medium heat, stir through tomato paste for 30 seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes.

Gently simmer until the dal in the other pot has cooked for the 30 mins.

Part 3 – dal + vagar + finishing flourishes

3 x 250g packs of frozen chopped spinach

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped

4 tablespoons of lemon juice


Transfer the vagar into the larger dal pot and stir the two mixtures together.

Simmer until it has reduced to your preferred consistency – around 25 minutes

Stir through the coriander, lemon juice, and frozen spinach.

As soon as the spinach has thawed and the mixture has returned to a simmer, remove from the heat.

If you can – fish out the chunks of ginger and the whole chillies

This stores very well for about a week. It always tastes better when it can sit for a few hours before serving – or even over night. You can also freeze it.

As a meal – Serve warm/hot with some fresh coriander, a dollop of natural yoghurt, a wedge of lemon, and basmati rice.

You can serve it warm as a dip before a meal, don’t forget to squeeze some fresh lemon.

I even eat it like soup, straight from the bowl!


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500 grams of mince

1 tablespoon of butter

Add whatever veggies you like. I used about half a cup each of frozen veg – corn carrot peas – along with a zucchini, 1 large stick of celery and some spring onion

An 800g tin diced tomatoes with 400g water

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of Dried oregano (I used Gewürzhaus Spaghetti bolognese seasoning)

1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste


Add butter to a hot pan and brown the meat

Add the veggies including the spring onion and sauté for a minute or two

Add the tomato paste, stir before adding the tomatoes and water. (I sprinkled some dry oregano and added the garlic powder at this point)
Reduce for an hour on the stove
Then put in casserole dish

For the topping –

Microwave 1 large peeled sweet potato and one large peeled potato till tender
Add a heaped teaspoon of butter and a splash of milk. 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese. Pepper. Mash till chunky mash
Spread over meat – dollop spoonfuls, then spread
Rough up with fork for crunchiness
Sprinkle Parmesan (and a cheeky sprinkle of breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs)
Bake for about 45 mins

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This is my first attempt. It made about 12L soup with 2L of veggies and meat after straining!

500g carrots, peeled and cut in to 2cm chunks

3 large parsnips, peeled and cut in to 2cm chunks

The whole top third of a bunch of celery, including leaves, the heart of the celery cut in to 2cm chunks

1 small leek, cut in half then into 2cm chunks

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, whole

1 heaped tablespoon of whole black peppercorns

3 large bay leaves

1 whole chicken (approx 1.7kg)

2 chicken frames

6 chicken necks

800g beef short ribs

Season with salt at the end! Start with 1/8 cup of salt (I used pink salt as its gentler) adjusting as you go.

As my grandmother famously said – “How much salt? You put it until it’s enough!”


Find the largest pot you can

Add all the ingredients

Cover with as much water as the pot can hold

Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer

I left it overnight simmering on the lowest setting.

I removed the meat and kept it for serving

I removed the veggies as best I could for serving

I put the soup in the fridge for a few hours so the fat could solidify and be removed.

Then I strained the soup. First through a colander and then through a sieve. This allowed me to save large pieces of meat and veggies and then discard the debris.

Personally I like to boil the soup in a pot when I’m ready to serve with some new celery and carrot chunks.

Serve to your taste :

Just clear soup

Soup with veggies

Soup with veggies and shredded meat

Add some lokshen (kosher egg noodles)

Or my favourite – matzo balls!

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Crunchy tuna patties

2 x 185g tuna in spring water – drain well

1 x 185g tuna in oil – drain well

2 large potatoes – steamed and mashed

2 eggs

1 spring onion – finely chopped

1 heaped tablespoon of parsley – finely chopped

Fresh black pepper

1 cup crumbs (bread, cornflake, or panko)

Oil for frying


Mash tuna and potato

Add all other ingredients (except oil and crumbs)

Shape in to patties – whatever size you desire (I use an ice cream scoop for size uniformity)

Coat in crumbs

Shallow fry for 2-3 mins each side until crispy and dark golden colour

Use two soup spoons or forks to flip

Cook other side for 2-3 mins

Drain oil on paper towel

Serve hot or cold. Delicious!


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You can easily double the recipe, but this was more than enough for the two of us – it made a dozen mini muffins

You will need:

2 small bananas (approx 150g)

60g self raising flour

40g vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon of spices – eg nutmeg/cinnamon. I used Gewürzhaus hot cross bun spice mix just for fun

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

Berries to poke in the middle. I was going to use raspberries but I forgot 🤦🏻‍♀️

Oil spray


Preheat fan forced oven to 170 degrees Celsius

Spray a mini muffin tray – I used coconut oil spray because I like the flavour when baking

Mash the bananas, then combine all other ingredients.

Mix with a hand mixer for 1 min

Fill the mini muffin trays

Bake for 20 mins, until a skewer comes out clean

Cool on a rack

Eat warm or you can even top with cream cheese that has a bit of vanilla bean for a bit of fun or even just dunk them in some yoghurt

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Enjoy these fried individually or as a tray bake. One with bacon and one vegetarian friendly.

You will need:

1 large zucchini, finely grayed

1 spring onion, halved and finely chopped

1 medium potato, finely grated

1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

4 eggs

1 cup self raising flour

100g danish feta crumbled

4 rounds of shortcut bacon, very finely diced OR 1/2 cup of green peas and some shredded mint

Enough milk to make the mixture a thick cake batter consistency

Method: mix all the ingredients together to a thick batter consistency.

Fritters: Large frying pan with oil on a medium heat. Use an ice cream scoop to measure equal sized fritters in to the pan. Leave space between the fritters to allow the to cook through and for easier flipping. Cook until golden on each side. You can finish them off in the oven if they’re not cooked through.

Tray bake: preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line a tin with baking paper. Bake for 45 mins or until the top is golden. Don’t open the oven. Turn off the oven and leave to set in the warm oven for about half an hour. Cut in to the desired serving size.

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Veggie Bake

This is a great way to have veggies and protein. It’s a big winner with my 1 year old and I enjoy it too. I make a huge tray bake and it lasts about a week – 14 or so serves

Top with sour cream and a lovely side salad.

Grate: 6 zucchini, 4 carrots, 2 medium potatoes, 1 medium brown onion


12 eggs

2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil

1 cup tasty cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan

Optional 200g crumbled fetta

Method: Line a baking tray with baking paper. Transfer your mixture to the tray, levelling it with a spatula

Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 70mins, until golden. Then turn off the oven, leave the tray in the closed oven for a further 30mins to ensure the veggie bake has set.

Serve warm or cold. As large slabs or in finger sized portions for children.

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